Office Saves Chicken with Daisy 777

How did I miss this great airgun related story last year?

San Francisco Chronicle
Chicken rescue probed
Air gun used by cop to burst balloons

(08-07) 04:00 PDT San Francisco — A San Francisco police lieutenant who used an air pistol to pop balloons that kept a chicken stuck in power lines is being investigated for possibly breaking department rules by firing a nonregulation weapon.

Lt. Mark Swendsen thought he was a hero June 21 for using his Daisy Model 777 pistol to save the Rhode Island Red hen that a prankster — apparently copying a stunt promoting a TV show — had sent aloft with 100 helium balloons.

“I was doing my job,” he said Wednesday. “I was trying to save the chicken, and I was trying to prevent other people from being hurt.”

Now, he said, he feels like the target of a “bizarre inquisition” by the department.

The air pistol that the 30-year veteran used to rescue the chicken at Broderick and Fell streets was Swendsen’s, not something that the department issued. Swendsen says the pistol is used in 10-meter Olympic competition.

“It’s meant to shoot things from about 38 feet away,” he said. “It’s meant to put all its shots in the space of a dime. . . . It’s pretty accurate.”

The chicken, dubbed Amelia by animal welfare workers, was adopted by a Concord woman in June.

Lt. Mike Slade, who runs the department’s internal affairs unit, said the investigation was simply a routine response to an anonymous complaint and that Swendsen had little reason to worry.

“We knew it was a nothing,” Slade said. “We wanted to make sure there was no merit to the case. If somebody makes a complaint, we have to look at it — it was something very minor.”

One thought on “Office Saves Chicken with Daisy 777”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress Anti-Spam by WP-SpamShield